AWB

Average White Band

AWB

Most UK bands of the ’70s approached black styles, generally older ones, from a rock-centric position. Scotland’s cheekily named Average White Band, though, directly engaged with current soul and funk trends to musical and commercial success. AWB, their second album and an American Number One, marked their debut with legendary Atlantic Records producer Arif Mardin. It finds the sextet adeptly handling everything from the instrumental dance groove “Pick Up the Pieces” — still one of the era’s emblematic singles — and a creditable remake of the Isley Brothers’ “Work to Do,” to the mellower slant of “Nothing You Can Do” and “Got the Love.” As fans of the genre, Average White Band could have been nothing but pleased at connecting with the soul audience, which eventually gave them more than a dozen hits on the R&B chart. This edition contains an extended live “Pick Up the Pieces” as a bonus track.

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